When the third-ranked Madison Mavericks host the sixth-ranked Johnson Jaguars, the District 27-6A title will be on the line.
It could also cement the rebirth of Madison Maverick football.
The Mavericks are currently 7-2 overall and 6-0 in district, and are guaranteed their first winning season since Jim Streety was their head coach back in 2013. Now, they have a chance to go undefeated in district play before beginning the playoffs.
”It’s really important,” Madison dual-threat quarterback Dante Heaggans said. “Winning district is a goal we had at the beginning of the season, so we’re going to keep working to achieve that goal.”
“It’s very important to win this game,” said Johnson senior quarterback Logan Randle. “We get to go out and compete for a district championship. It’ll definitely be more like a playoff atmosphere than a regular game.”
The Jaguars, who are now 5-1 in district and 7-2 overall, took the district title last year with an undefeated record in district play. Now, they face their former defensive-coordinator turned Madison head coach Blaine Pederson with the district crown on the line.
”We’ve been practicing countless hours, sunrise to sundown,” Madison senior linebacker Brandon Bielefeld explained. “We’ve faced a lot of adversity this year and I think we are ready for Johnson.”
“My dad coached with coach Pederson for many years and grew up with him,” said Randle, “It’ll be fun competing against him.”
After losing their first two games of the season, the Mavericks have now won seven in a row including impressive wins over Smithson Valley (17-14) and Reagan (42-28). Heaggans has been consistently impressive this season, amassing over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns in the air and another 13 touchdowns on the ground. The Jaguars, meanwhile, encountered their only hiccup in a 34-28 district loss to Reagan. The forecast for this Friday’s game features windy conditions, which could mean a big night for the Jaguars’ running attack at Commander Stadium. Justin Rodriguez is the team’s biggest threat on the ground, accounting for over 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns.
“It should be a good game,” predicts Heaggans. “It’s a playoff game, a big game.”
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